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Second impressions

Amersfoort – Hilversum

A pair of dirty sneakers stretched out onto a suitcase. Two bags and another suitcase. It’s a six-person compartment, but it looks full. I slow down, annoyed, doubtful. Then I make eye contact with a friendly pair of eyes, belonging to the dirty shoes. She pulls her case out of my way, “Plenty of room! When no one’s here I’ll spread out, but come in!” My face softens when I sit down, while she continues in the same breath. “Yup I borrowed fifty cents, but you paid for the boat, so all in all, about fifteen euros.” I startle, but then, concealed by luggage, I spot a second face.